Protesters remain livid over 2022 midterm election issues in Harris County

Thousands of ballots are still being counted and tabulated in Harris County, as protests continue over last week’s elections.

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First, a protest outside the Harris County Commissioner's building on Preston Street, accusing officials of election fraud.

Then, the accusations continued inside the courtroom, as members of the public crowded into the meeting, harshly criticizing Democratic Commissioners Garcia and Ellis, and County Judge Hidalgo. Some who signed up to speak voiced concerns over problems at the polls.    

"Among the errors were not supplying the Republican areas with ballot paper, machines in Republican polls not working," said one speaker. 

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"Your machines are fouling up all the votes," said another. "If you have the people to fix them, get them fixed. I’m tired of pulling paper out of machines."

Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum was called for an update.

"Overall, the plan was developed and deployed was a solid plan," Tatum said, defending his office’s work.

Tatum stated polling issues resulted from under-resourced staff and vowed to continue investigating. Tatum suggested adding a real-time tracker for technicians in future elections.  

"I’ve spoken to judges who said I asked for technical support and I never saw a technician," Tatum said. "My call center tells me they dispatched a technician. Because I can’t track a technician with the system that I have, I can’t tell you what happened."

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After Tatum wrapped up his update, the commissioners went head-to-head.

"Mr. Tatum, you need to have a town hall because unless we’re willing to listen, we’ll never fix it," said Pct. 2 Commissioner Tom Ramsey. "This isn’t the first time we’ve had a problem with the election. This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with this machine. To play like well we’re going to listen to people and write all this down, I think we need to do an audit. In fact, we need to do an audit of the election, and I’m calling for that, not for political reasons but for obvious reasons, we have a problem in Harris County."

"Commissioner Ramsey I remind you to check your sources and your facts before you share," County Judge Lina Hidalgo replied. "Be careful what you say, sir because the kind of fear that you’re continuing to encourage is not just theoretically dangerous, but in real life a concern, and you can see the way it played out today."

So far, officials have not indicated any evidence of widespread fraud.

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Tatum would not accept any questions from reporters after Commissioners Court.

Currently, his office is still processing provisional ballots, about 2100 of which were cast during the extended voting hour. 


Tatum estimated it could be another day or two before Harris County is finished counting all of its ballots.

"We are a transparent organization, there is nothing for us to hide," Tatum said. "We have an election's plan. We followed the plan. Some of the plans didn’t go as anticipated. We are currently contacting every judge, assessing their opening and closing success, their ballot paper and technical issues encountered on Election Day."